Feb 8, 2011

Gdańsk - Polish Amsterdam?

That's undoubtedly big exaggeration, but it's hard to deny that over 1000 year old city of Gdańsk is tainted with splendid atmosphere of Hanseatic Leage, ever present culture and some really stunning channel views.

Located in the middle of north Polish coast, at calm bay, it has always been a historically significant gem of architecture and port industry. Here amber was loaded on ships making people awfully rich, here traders from whole Europe came to do their business, here was set up Free City independent from Polish and German state, here, finally, Solidarity movement and consequent democratic revolution in Europe started.

Gdańsk is worth to visit for all those reasons... and many others. Fantastically renovated architecture of tenement houses and mansions, charming old town vibrant with concerts and happenings, impressive churches, sailing channel of Vistula with its nostalgic harbour, legendary fish restaurants, and, last bu not least, numerous memorials of 1980's events located around historical Shipyard of Gdańsk.

What you definitely will want to see is main street, Długa, with its iconic Town Hall and fountainof Neptun; harbour of Motława with many tourist boats offering tours through channels and on to Hell Penisula (famous beach & windsurfing spot); Mariacka street leading form harbour to most glorious church of St. Mary - mecca of amber artists, craftsmen and book keepers. Further from the center there are amazing parks (Park Oliwski), "Solidarity" exhibitions (Roads to Freedom) and splendid sandy beaches with attractive infrastructure.

As for accommodation options, there is Youth Hostel with huge capacity, as well as some decent low standard hotels for reasonable prices and sometimes with amazing location - check out: Hotel Królewski right at the channel, Hotel Wolne Miasto, at the very heart of old town or pleasantly affordable Hotel Dal (50 euro per double room).

And if you wondered about local specialities then you won't be dissapointed: fish opulence (herring, salmon, trout, halibut, cod in as many versions as you may imagine), typical Polish cuisine like bigos (sauerkraut stew), barszcz (beetroot soup), pierogi ( best stuffed dumplings), żurek (soup from fermented flour with white sausage and egg), and many pastry delicacies. For those thinking more of drinking there are some splendid non-pasteurized beers (Koźlak, Żywe, Amber, Kaper) and of course vodka - "Chopin", "Sobieski" or famous Gdańsk version of sweet 40% liquor with gold flakes "Goldwasser".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to ask or comment...